Using a tiny flatworm best known for its extraordinary ability to regenerate lost tissue, researchers have identified a gene that controls the ability of stem cells to differentiate into specialized cells. The gene encodes a protein that is most similar to the protein PIWI, an important regulator of stem cells in organisms ranging from plants to humans.
The replacement of tissue lost to injury or shed during the bodys normal activities is essential for the survival of most organisms. The new study, published in the November 25, 2005, issue of the journal Science, helps scientists understand how stem cells make this process possible. The research, performed at the University of Utah School of Medicine, was carried out by Helen Hay Whitney postdoctoral fellow Peter W. Reddien (now an Associate Member at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research), and led by Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator Alejandro Sánchez Alvarado.
Salamanders, zebrafish, and other organisms are capable of regenerating entirely new body parts. Although the human body does not face such demands, it is constantly replacing lost cells. For example, blood replenishes itself, wounds heal, and the lining of the gut sloughs off and is restored. Nowhere, however, is the process of regeneration more dramatic than in the freshwater flatworm planaria. Cut one of these animals in half, and a week later, two fully functional worms will have developed from the pieces. Cut a piece that is 1/279th the size of the animal, and it too will regrow into a complete worm.
Jennifer Michalowski | EurekAlert!
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So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...
A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.
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Cardiovascular tissue engineering aims to treat heart disease with prostheses that grow and regenerate. Now, researchers from the University of Zurich, the Technical University Eindhoven and the Charité Berlin have successfully implanted regenerative heart valves, designed with the aid of computer simulations, into sheep for the first time.
Producing living tissue or organs based on human cells is one of the main research fields in regenerative medicine. Tissue engineering, which involves growing...
A team of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg investigated optically-induced superconductivity in the alkali-doped fulleride K3C60under high external pressures. This study allowed, on one hand, to uniquely assess the nature of the transient state as a superconducting phase. In addition, it unveiled the possibility to induce superconductivity in K3C60 at temperatures far above the -170 degrees Celsius hypothesized previously, and rather all the way to room temperature. The paper by Cantaluppi et al has been published in Nature Physics.
Unlike ordinary metals, superconductors have the unique capability of transporting electrical currents without any loss. Nowadays, their technological...
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